Students reach new heights in reading program

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The accelerated reading program has been around for a while at Linden Elementary School.

But, this year the program has reached new heights. Students all over the school are excited about reading and it shows.

Second Grade teacher Dawn Sheffield said they are using the accelerated program to encourage students to aim high, which has been very successful.

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“They are really on fire for reading right now,” Sheffield said. “We’re are using the program to help them reach their potential. They get to pick the book they want to read and they really seem to enjoy the program.”

One member of the program, Tiffany White, said she always keeps a book handy.

“We have been reading lots of books,” White said. “I read during break and during lunch.”

Aiyana McCasky, a member of Victoria Harris’s reading group, is an example of the excitement the students share for the program. She is also an example of its success with her most recent test scores.

“I read Arthur’s Chicken Pox and then I took the test,” McCaskey said. “I took the test and made 100. Now I have 40 points.”

Reading coordinator Denise Thomas said they are more than happy to share the credit with other teachers. Thomas said the students’ excitement for reading is beginning to translate into other subjects.

“We attribute a lot of our success to the dedication of our teachers,” Thomas said. “They are very dedicated to our program and they are very excited about the progress of their students. Their success carries over into other subjects.”

One reason for the excitement, principal Wanda Fisher said, was the freedom the students are given.

“This is something they do on their own,” Fisher said. “They are allowed to pick out their own books and it allows them to be in charge of their reading.”

When they complete books, Thomas said, they are also given an opportunity to describe the book to their peers.

“The teachers also celebrate what they read by using the authors chair,” Thomas said. “Not only do they read, but they use the chair to report what the book is about. It helps them tell the story.”

A general excitement for learning has become the norm for Linden Elementary students. Fisher said she has been extremely pleased with what she has seen from her students and faculty.

“They are really doing a wonderful job and we are proud of them,” Fisher said. “Their excitement about reading is really starting to translate into their test scores.”